31 May2010

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The alarm clock went off at about 3 in the morning. Our flight wasn’t until 6 am or so, but it was a 40 minute boat ride to the airport, so we had to leave the hotel just before 4 am. But the fear of the taxi driver forgetting to pick us up was a real one, and if he did forget, the chances of finding another water taxi at that time was nearly impossible. So the first sigh of relief was the sight of a fantastic classic wooden taxi-launch waiting for us on the dock outside our hotel, Oltre il Giardino. What followed was one of the most memorable 20-30 minutes of our visit to Venice…

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The canals were dark and still. The city was definitely asleep, with few souls stirring in the little alleyways and canals near our hotel. The taxi had a little “headlight” but passing through the dark canals was one of the eeriest yet fascinating rides we have ever experienced. When we got to the main canal, some of the buildings were lit up, so landmarks were more readily visible, but otherwise, there was little activity anywhere in Venice.

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The Rialto bridge, normally overrun by tourists, looked almost hauntingly deserted.

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Other facades were lit with more attractive yellow or warmer toned lights.

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And after we left the canals of Venice and started crossing the lagoon, almost the only lights we could see were those of the control panel of the boat. We would arrive safely at the airport, but problems with our flights from that point on led to a 36 hour transit time (!) home to Manila.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Jerome says:

    MM, I like this kind of post. Something that is not ordinary to experience nor imagine. A fourty minute boat ride in a place that is so dark and quiet with your love ones … sleepy and above the water… I felt so alarmed and up with my guards, ready to whatever might happen. Aww! that’s to much of a James bonds thing in my imagination. You’re no James bond, but the Man who gives me alot of information …. Thanks MM.

    May 31, 2010 | 5:15 pm

     
  2. Blaise says:

    I love that first shot. It looks kind of surreal.

    May 31, 2010 | 6:05 pm

     
  3. maia says:

    I am really really enjoying your posts. I wish we can have that dream European tour with my family sooner. Yet the hubby also thinks the kids are too young to travel, just being 4 and 2 years old. Wala pa daw “memories”. What do you think, MM? How early did you bring the Teen along with you in your travels abroad?

    May 31, 2010 | 6:33 pm

     
  4. Connie C says:

    Beautiful pictures of the still waters in the canals of Venice.

    My most memorable Venice experience was dancing the Argentine tango ( we couldn’t help it) with hubby a number of years ago to Astor Piazzola’s Libertango on Piazza San Marco where we chanced upon 4 orchestras playing Argentine tango music in the four corners of the square as the waters from the canals slowly rose to flood the Piazza! Thank God we finished the piece before we got our soles wet.

    May 31, 2010 | 6:38 pm

     
  5. ntgerald says:

    I just came from a two-week tour of Italy myself, and I would say that because it is a place where people go mostly for the history, I would discourage tours by very young people who cannot appreciate what the place has to offer.
    At the Vatican, strollers are not allowed inside St. Peter’s Cathedral. You have to carry your young one physically. I saw families who opted not to go inside anymore because of that, and I think you would want to the see the Cathedral inside. Naawa ako sa isang couple with four young kids, who sat it out in the curb rather than brave the long lines. During the mass inside the Cathedral people tried their best to ignore a bawling brat.
    The tours were physically demanding and most of the sites were crowded. You would not want to go there when upon alighting from your bus all you can think of is that your kids don’t get lost. I have not seen tourists that many anywhere in the Philippines, even in Boracay.

    May 31, 2010 | 7:01 pm

     
  6. corianderie says:

    Hi MM, am a relatively new visitor to your blog. I enjoy reading your writings, and I’ve yet to access most of your archived posts. This particular one waxes romantic in an eerie way, as if a masked phantom-of-the-operaesque man would spring out from the shadows of Rialto bridge. Sigh… if only our Pasig River could be resurrected to evoke such passion and beauty. I can’t even reconcile the pink & mint green MMDA colors into such a picture. Honestly.

    May 31, 2010 | 8:10 pm

     
  7. Marketman says:

    corianderie, there are nearly 2,500 previous posts in the archives… so there’s a lot to be read… :)

    May 31, 2010 | 8:51 pm

     
  8. Jen Laceda says:

    Venice at 4 am? Magnifico!

    May 31, 2010 | 9:53 pm

     
  9. Rowi says:

    Hi MM,
    Just briefly browsed your post today and your dawn photos of Venice reminded me of this old film by Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland, called Don’t Look now. It was a rather spooky film in a very discreet way and the scenes in the canals and bridges of Venice really gave a surreal and mysterious effect. Your photos were spot on.

    May 31, 2010 | 9:55 pm

     
  10. millet says:

    priceless! i wouldn’t have been surprised had daniel craig suddenly jumped onto the boat!

    May 31, 2010 | 10:09 pm

     
  11. Footloose says:

    Your new poll presents an obstacle of choice for me. I hope they do not do this in paradise.

    May 31, 2010 | 11:15 pm

     
  12. jtan says:

    The movie with Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland was “Don’t Look Now”. Brilliant mystery-suspense. The movie haunted me on my first visit to Venice when it was cloudy and drizzling, and i was briefly lost in the narrow streets. Fortunately, there are many signs that lead to the Rialto Bridge.

    May 31, 2010 | 11:39 pm

     
  13. GayeN says:

    Wow…!

    Jun 1, 2010 | 2:43 am

     
  14. GayeN says:

    Wow…! I would love to experience that one day. I love reading your posts, which is why I visit Market Manila everyday. Thanks for sharing! =p

    Jun 1, 2010 | 2:44 am

     
  15. Betchay says:

    Wow!What can I say?A different look of Venice……Thanks MM!

    Jun 1, 2010 | 7:21 am

     
  16. JE says:

    That would have been something to behold, indeed.

    Jun 1, 2010 | 8:15 am

     
  17. Quillene says:

    enchanting!

    Jun 1, 2010 | 10:27 am

     
  18. netoy says:

    we experienced the same trepidation when we were waiting for our taxi one very early monring on the way to the airport. luckily, dependable naman sila.

    the most memorable event for me in venice was watching those mini classical ‘concerts’ played in front of various restaurants in the piazza san marco at night. it was really a sight to behold – when one concert ends, another one begins and you just stand there and watch/listen in awe, surrounded by all these history around you…..

    Jun 3, 2010 | 12:09 am

     
 

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